Sparkassen Informatik Signs Strategic Five-Year Contract With IBM

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ARMONK, NY - 05 Feb 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Sparkassen Informatik (SI) GmbH, Germany's largest provider of information technology (IT) solutions to savings banks, today announced that they have agreed to a five-year extension of their existing IT partnership. The contract -- worth approximately $700 million -- covers hardware, software infrastructure and services.

Sparkassen Informatik currently provides IT solutions to 303 German savings banks -- making it the largest IT service provider in the German retail banking market. With 82.8 million customer accounts and more than 30 billion transactions a year, SI has the largest processing volume in the German retail finance market and is one of the world's largest IT service providers to the banking industry. In addition to the expansion of their core banking solution OSPlus, Sparkassen Informatik plans to broaden their cooperation with states banks, with the savings banks finance group and with other financial institutions.

The technology collaboration with IBM will enable SI to continue improving the performance and cost structure of its IT platform and provides the flexibility for further growth in terms of number of clients, transactions and applications. The continuous further development and service-orientation of its OSPlus core banking solution based on the IBM System z platform is also part of the collaboration and will better position SI in the highly competitive and changing financial market.

"We provide IT services to two thirds of German savings banks as well as to state banks and their partners and from this strong basis we intend to expand and grow our services," said Fridolin Neumann, Chairman of the Board, Sparkassen Informatik. "The right IT infrastructure is key for offering the best IT services and for the further growth of OSPlus as the standard retail banking solution in the market. This means we need an infrastructure designed with plenty of capacity for growth that continuously improves cost-performance-ratio for our clients and at the same time satisfies market demands for cost-efficient services. The partnership with IBM will help us to achieve these objectives."

To better address current challenges Sparkassen Informatik plans to install several IBM System z Enterprise Class servers as a central component of their Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) strategy. Enterprise Class servers are ideally suited for the automated transactions of huge workloads and satisfy increased demands on security and resiliency. The contract with IBM also includes IBM middleware addressing the specific needs of SI's SOA strategy.

"As one of Germany's leading providers of IT solutions to the banking industry, Sparkassen Informatik clearly understands the importance of security and reliability to banks and their customers," said William Zeitler, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Systems & Technology Group. "Sparkassen Informatik's continued reliance on System z demonstrates that mainframe technology remains the system of choice for handling critical back-room operations in the most complex industries."

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